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WMOH Updates Archives for 2022-03

Spooky Nook Hotel Opening

The Spooky Nook development on Hamilton's West Side takes another major step toward opening. North America's largest indoor
sports facility announced that they are now booking reservations at the Warehouse Hotel, which is located on the sprawling 691,000
square foot site. The hotel will begin welcoming guests on May 3rd. The restaurant, bar, Champion Mill Conference Center, and Spooky Nook Sports will open later this summer. The opening has been delayed because of supply chain issues, as well as a wind storm last year that knocked over an unfinished section of the complex.

(Photo Credit: Spooky Nook/Warehouse Hotel)

Fire Hits Apartments

At least ten apartment units have been damaged as a result of a fire Monday afternoon in West Chester Township. The flames broke out around 3:00pm at the Union Station Apartment complex off Fountains Boulevard, according to township spokesperson Barb Wilson. When first responders arrived on the scene, they found a large column of smoke coming from the top of the building. Firefighters made sure all residents were able to escape the flames without injury. Several pets were rescued as well, although one dog reportedly died. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(Photo Credit: Barb Wilson)

Road Construction Updates

Here is this week's road construction report:






 MARCH 22, 2022

The Butler County Engineer’s Office reports that Reily Millville Road will close one mile east of S.R. 732 and 1.2 miles west of Bunker Hill Woods Road for a culvert replacement beginning Monday, March 28, 2022. The road will be closed to all through traffic and is tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 1, 2022.

Detour: Eastbound Reily Millville Road traffic will detour east on Stillwell Road and southwest on Bunker Hill Woods Road. Westbound traffic will reverse this route.

Check out our Projects Map, as well as Facebook and Twitter @bceonews for possible date and status changes concerning this and other closures/advisories.



BUTLER COUNTY: Weekly Construction Update

Through the week ending April 2, 2022: The following traffic advisory includes restrictions on the state highway system in Butler County. All work will be contingent upon the weather. For construction information and statewide information regarding road conditions, visit ODOT on the web at www.Ohgo.com


S.R. 122 Bridge Rehabilitation - At the bridges on Central Ave. over the Great Miami River at Middletown. Preliminary work is under way, and traffic will be maintained through the work zone. The route will be subject to 45-day closure at a yet-to-be-determined date. Construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2022.

S.R. 126 Slip/Erosion Repair - S.R. 126 is reduced to one lane just west of Weaver Road due to a potential slip and pavement failure in the eastbound lane. Traffic is being maintained in one lane with temporary signals until such time that permanent repairs can be made.

S.R. 130 & S.R. 503 Ditching/Grading - On S.R. 130, between Vizedom Road and the city of Hamilton, and on S.R. 503, southbound between the Preble County line and S.R. 744. Traffic will be maintained during hours of operation with flaggers, traffic cones and/or arrow boards as needed. 

U.S. 27 Vegetation Clearing - In both directions, between the Hamilton County line and the Indiana State line. Traffic will be maintained during hours of operation with flaggers, traffic cones and/or arrow boards as needed.

U.S. 27 Pavement Repairs - On U.S. 27, between Reily-Millville Road and the Oxford corporation limit. Traffic will be maintained during hours of operation with flaggers, traffic cones and/or arrow boards as needed.



S.R. 122 Intersection Improvement - At the intersection of Roosevelt and Breiel boulevards in Middletown. Operations have been suspended for the winter months; however, crews will return in the spring to complete final paving and other finishing work. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2022.

S.R. 129 Interchange Improvement - At Liberty Way and I-75. A project by the Butler County Engineer's Office to extend S.R. 129 east to a roundabout at Cox Road, north of Liberty Way. Various nighttime restrictions will be in effect on the ramps to/from I-75; however, traffic will be maintained. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2022.

U.S. 127 Roundabout - At the intersection with S.R. 73. All lanes, including the roundabout, are open to traffic. Operations have been suspended for the winter months; however, crews will return in the spring to complete final paving operations, pavement markings and other finishing work. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2022.



Open Again After Fire

A fire in a rooftop HVAC unit cost the Fairfield Applebee's their lunchtime crowd Friday, but the restauraunt was able to re-open in time for dinner. Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett tells WMOH News the fire was contained to the mounted unit, but there was smoke inside the restaurant. Bennett says Applebee's had to close until they were given clearance from the Butler County Health Department. The agency gave the go ahead to re-open later in the afternoon. No injuries were reported, and there was no structural damage to the restaurant.

Clarksville Tornado Confirmed

A survey team from the National Weather Service office in Wilmington has determined that an EF-0 tornado hit near the Clarksville area, spanning two counties Wednesday afternoon. The small twister touched down along Todd's Fork Creek south of OH-350, collapsing a barn. The storm continued to follow the creek, snapping trees and overturning a pop-up camper. The storm caused minor damage to a home before moving into Clinton County and lifting back up into the clouds. The storm traveled 1.5 miles with a width of 50 yards. No injuries were reported.

Fire Victim Identified

We now know the name of the victim from a deadly house fire on Vanderveer Avenue in Hamilton's North End Sunday night. The death of 59 year old John Worischeck has been ruled accidental from smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined by Hamilton firefighters. First responders arrived at the house around 10:01pm to find smoke coming out of the front of the building, and flames in the basement.


Owens, Miami Part Ways

Miami University is looking for a new head basketball coach. The school announced Wednesday that coach Jack Owens and the university have mutually agreed to part ways.  Owens went 70-83 at Miami, and this season was the most disappointing, going 14-18 with a strong senior class. The season was marred by injuries, and several bouts with COVID that postponed some contests. Under Owens, Miami was invited to the College Basketball Invitational in 2018, and had a winning record of 12-11 in 2020-21. 

"I want to thank Jack Owens for his tremendous effort and work ethic in leading Miami Basketball," said Director of Athletics David Sayler. "We all have a great amount of respect for Jack, who he is, how he conducts himself and how he ran the program. Jack's leadership throughout the pandemic was always centered on student-athlete well-being and he accomplished a lot in challenging times. We wish him well in his future endeavors."



Body Found Was Missing Man

The Butler County Coroner's Office has identified a body found in a pond over the weekend as belonging to a missing West Chester man. 31 year old Alexander Enslen had been missing since January 31st, when he was last seen in the area of the Walmart on Cincinnati Dayton Road, which is a short distance from the pond off Fountains Boulevard where the body was found Saturday.  The coroner's report listed the cause of death as an accidential drowning.

No Suspension For Reynolds

(Hamilton)--Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds will remain in office as he awaits trial on bribery and corruption charges. A special commission comprised of three retired judges appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Rogers will not be suspended before his August 15th trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court. The panel says the charges against Reynolds do not relate to his duties in office, something his defense team pointed out in a statement released after the ruling. "Not only are the charges against Mr. Reynolds false, but as the Special Commission recognized, the allegations do not involve the Auditor’s office or Mr. Reynolds’ work as the Auditor," said Chad Ziepfel with the Taft, Stettinius, & Hollister law firm in Cincinnati. "Auditor Reynolds is focused on his commitment to providing quality services and his continued fight to keep spending and taxes low for the taxpayers of Butler County. We again ask that the community not rush to judgment in this matter, and we look forward to proving Mr. Reynolds' innocence at the upcoming trial."

Four Injured In SUV Rollover

(West Chester)--West Chester police say there were no life threatening injuries after a rollover crash early this morning. The SUV involved was earlier
being chased by police on Tylersville Road from Cincinnati-Dayton, where the vehicle fled a traffic stop.  Police broke off the chase around Farmgate Drive, but the Ford Explorer continued on, later hitting a pole and overturning just west of State Route 747. Two adults and two teenagers were taken to West Chester Hospital for treatment.


Roundabout Project Begins

(Hamilton)--Work is underway on Butler County's newest roundabout project. The first phase of the Five Points roundabout started Monday with the closure of Hancock Avenue from Bender Avenue to the Five Points intersection. The closure will last 60 days. Hamilton Mason and Grand Boulevard will remain open until the final days of the project. The $2.2 million roundabout is expected to be completed by late July.

Middletown, Palenick Part Ways

(Middletown)--Like the director yelling "cut" at the end a scene, Middletown City Council snapped the proverbial clapper board to signify the end of the Jim Palenick era at city hall. Done in by his ambitious, yet very unpopular $1.3 billion Hollywoodland proposal, Palenick mutually agreed to a separation agreement with city council. According to a release from the city, Palenick and council "mutually resolved to part ways due to differences in the intgended directions of their plans and their overall visions for the city." Council voted unanimously to approve the deal Monday morning. Fire Chief Paul Lolli was named the acting city manager.

Cunninghams Wow Lawmakers

(Columbus)--Hamilton's Cunningham Sisters, who recently competed on NBC's The Voice, performed God Bless America and the Star-Spangled-Banner in the Statehouse Rotunda before Wednesday's session of the House of Represenatives. Butler County State Representative Sara Carruthers, who hosted the girls, says the sisters “truly represent qualities all Ohioans strive for: love, compassion, faith and family. With their immense talent, I look forward to watching them represent Ohio well in all their future endeavors.” Carruthers told her fellow lawmakers that the girls recently signed a recording contract. The sisters were given a standing ovation by lawmakers and the crowd with them in the gallery.


Reds Begin Arriving In Arizona

(Goodyear, AZ)--Reds players started reporting to their spring training facility in Arizona just hours after an agreement was announced ending the 99 day Major League Baseball lockout. Veteran first baseman Joey Votto and pitcher Tyler Mahle were among the first players to arrive. Votto says "It happened so quickly, but I'm glad to be back, for sure." He says the abbreviated spring training may affect some players, but he believes he will be OK. The Reds will play their first spring training game in Goodyear against the Cleveland Guardians next Friday, March 18th. The regular season will begin on April 7th, when the Reds play in Atlanta against the defending world champion Braves. The Reds will play their first home game April 12th against the Guardians. Team owner Bob Castellini says they will have "all the traditions and fun that makes Opening Day in Cincinnati the greatest day in all of baseball."

WSLL Planning Major Facelift

(Hamilton)--They played like a million bucks at the Little League World Series, now Hamilton's West Side Little League wants their ballpark to look like a million bucks. The league's board has announced a million dollar capital improvement campaign for the park off Eaton Avenue. Hamilton City Council is considering a proposal to donate $300,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funding for safety improvements at the ballpark. They include a rebuilt pressbox, new bleachers, backstops, netting, retaining wall, and the fence next to the bike trail. The park is also looking to improve the playing fields and practice facilities. The West Side Little League All-Stars captured the Tom Seaver Championship, finishing runners-up at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania last August.

(Photo Courtesy: TV Hamilton)

Fairfield In Regional Final

(Cincinnati)--The Fairfield Indians are one win away from a trip to the OHSAA Division One Final Four in Dayton. They beat Wayne 51-42 in the regional semi-finals at the Cintas Center Wednesday night. The Indians were led by Kollin Tolbert, who had 20 points. They will play Centerville in the regional final 7:00pm Saturday at Cintas. Centerville beat Fairmont on a last second shot 44-42. We will bring you that game right here on the Ticket.


(Photo Credit: OHSAA)


Hamilton Hiring Firefighters

(Hamilton)--The City of Hamilton is looking to hire new firefighter/paramedics. The fire department says they will take applications through April 7th from those who are 18 and over, have a high school diploma or GED, and have a driver's license. You do not have to have a certification to apply, and the city will pay for any certification training while earning a salary.  Women, minorities, and military vets are especially encouraged to apply. You will have to test through the National Testing Network. For more information, visit the Hamilton Fire Department's page on the city's website.


Five Points Construction Begins

Construction on the Five Points roundabout project will begin Monday. That is according to the Butler County Engineer's Office, who says the first phase of the project will begin with a 60 day closure of Hancock Avenue from the Five Points intersection to Bender Avenue. Hancock Avenue is expected to reopen by May 13th. Hamilton Mason Road and Grand Boulevard will remain open until the final weeks of construction. The single lane roundabout is expected to improve safety at the busy five road intersection. The engineer's office, the City of Hamilton, and the Ohio Department of Transportation are funding the $2.2 million construction cost. The roundabout is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

Gas Prices Breach $4.00 Mark

Gas prices continued their historic surge this week with no end in sight. Gas Buddy says the average price of regular unleaded in Greater Cincinnati was $4.09/Gallon Wednesday, which is $1.15 higher than it was on New Year's Day. President Biden announced plans to ban Russian oil and gasoline imports to the U.S., while at the same time refusing to step up America's oil production.

West Chester Plant Closes, 200 Jobs Gone

A West Chester company closed suddenly last week after failing to secure a loan to stay afloat. O'Gara Hess Eisenhardt went out of business on March 3rd, according to a WARN filing with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The company says the closing is permanent, and effects 207 workers. O'Gara Hess Eisenhardt made armored humvees for the military, as well as armored vehicles for VIP's and celebrities. U.S. Senator John McCain made a campaign appearance at the Le Saint Drive facility during his failed presidential bid in 2008.

Fire Damages Four Bridges Apartment Building

(Liberty Twp)--14 adults and 2 children are being assisted with housing by the Red Cross after fire hit an apartment building at Four Bridges in Liberty Township. Battalion Chief Jason Knollman says the fire started in a second story balcony, and spread with the wind to the roof area, and to other apartments. 6 units were damaged. A mayday was called during a partial roof collapse, but the firefighter was located, and no injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported. No cause has been determined yet. Firefighters from Monroe, West Chester, Deerfield Township, and Ross helped battle the fire.


Photos: Steve Vaughn/Doug Crawford


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